Monday, 25 January 2010

Patagonian Lamb – Boy had I missed it …..

I love lamb.. It’s the one piece of meat in Colombia I missed so much. For some reason a lot of Colombians have never eaten or/and do not want to try the gaminess and juiciness that is lamb, hogget or mutton. Depending on the age. Why? Maybe because it has a strong taste and most meat in Colombia has none.
You can buy it there. It’s been imported from Chile and it’s heavily wrapped in clingfilm, so you can not actually see what cut you are getting or how it looks like. It’s also stupidly expensive. So expensive that I never brought it. I wanted to, but I could not bring myself to pay those prices. Plus I kinda knew after a while that we were heading South to Argentina and Chile. I could wait.
Wait I did.
Even after a few days in Buenos Aires, I wanted to leave and sample the delights of Patagonian lamb. You can buy it in B.A. But is a sweltering hot summers day the best weather to appreciate something that has been brought up in wind swept rugged Patagonia. Me thinks not.
So from B.A. we headed South as quick as we could to the lovely San Martin de Los Andes. A great lakeside resort town. All wood buildings and quirky little shops that make these places a hit in the holiday season.
The ride down there took 24 hours in a luxury double decker bus. We opted for semi-cama, as the flat bed was double the price. The nearly but oh so close to flat bed was good enough. I slept all night. Which compared to plane travel is the opposite.
We were even given food. Three meals. Nothing to write home about, but it kept us going. But this being Argentina we were also given a half bottle of wine with each meal. Well maybe breakfast but I opted for coffee.
We once did a camping trip to El Chalten many years ago. We were stunned to find out we had a dinning tent which they served us a three course meal every night with wine. Lot’s of it. This was quite normal we were told. Beats the shit out of trying to cook a tin of beans over a small gas cooker in the blustery wind.
The list of places in San Martin that had whole carcasses of lamb gently cooking over a live flame in the window was endless. All places were packed so it was literally just pick one. My belly grumbled in the direction of one restaurant. So in we went and shared a plate of barbecue lamb with some potatoes and the normal mixed salad.
After 6 months of no lamb, it was fantastic. God I missed its gaminess, it’s lovely flavour that has had me hooked since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Yum yum.
The only thing missing apart from the mint sauce, was the fat. I think the chef had trimmed most of it off as fat and fire generally creates havoc in a kitchen. That was all that was missing. Wanted to curse him but I was so happy to be eating lamb again that I forgave him.

So looking forward to my next plateful of lamb. Must remember the mint sauce. 

No comments: